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'SaReGaMaPa' contestants in Israel

Thousands of Indians throng to see live performances by the contestants, which spellbind the audience with melodious Bollywood numbers.

india Updated: Jan 13, 2008 13:36 IST
Harinder Mishra
Harinder Mishra

Thousands of Indians thronged this Red Sea resort city of Israel to see live performances by the contestants in a popular reality TV show, which spellbound the audience with melodious Bollywood numbers.

The annual event dubbed Hoduyada (gathering of Indians) drew unprecedented response from Indian Jews nearly 4,000 of whom turned up to see their favourite stars from the 'SaReGaMaPa', a popular programme aired on Zee TV.

"You are a very important link between India and Israel. This event clearly shows the strong sentimental attachment you have for India even after getting completely integrated into the Israeli society", India's Ambassador to Israel Arun Kumar Singh, said.

"You are a very important element in the strengthening relations between the two countries", he told the gathering at the function organised to mark 15 years of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

Singh also informed the community about a series of academic programmes the Indian government has introduced for the diaspora youth.

A sharp increase in price for participation in the two-day event did not deter enthusiastic Indians of all ages from attending the programme.

The beach on the Red sea coast was transformed into a mini-chaupati as Indian music reverberated the air and stalls of bhelpuri, papri chaat and other snacks common on the Juhu beach seen all around.